There have been multiple wars in the history of the United States and many artists have used music to express their feelings about the wars. Some of those songs can be relevant even ten or twenty years after they were originally recorded. One of these songs is “War” originally performed by The Temptations and then Edwin Starr. The song was written in the 1960’s by Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong as an anti-war anthem. The song focuses on the feelings of anger that many people had in the late 1960’s towards the Vietnam War. While The Temptations recorded the song first, they chose not to release their version so they would not upset any of their fans. So Edwin Starr stepped in and rerecorded it for a release in 1970. The song was a hit but it was forgotten during the late 70’s and early 80’s, that is until it was rerecorded by Bruce Springsteen. Springsteen recorded his version in 1985.
Bruce Springsteen became popular in the late 1960’s and continues to be popular to this day. His music is mainly rock with some folk music mixed in. He is known by his nickname; The Boss. He chose to record his own version of the song because he like every American, had personal experience with the Vietnam War. He was eighteen years old when he was called for the War induction. He failed every single test during the induction so he was not drafted to serve. While he did not go overseas and experience the War firsthand, he still had his own feelings about what the US was doing.
When he recorded his version in 1985, it was also because he was angered about how the US was handling certain situations. So he used the song to express his political views just like Edwin Starr did in the 1970’s. But you will have to tune in next week to learn more!
“When I die, I want people to play my music, go wild, and freak out an’ do anything they wanna do.”
— Jimi Hendrix
Jimi Hendrix is well-known for his guitar playing and is argued to be the best guitarist of all time. I have always heard of his talent, but I never really sat down and listened to his music. So, that was the very first thing I did. I listened to his song, Machine Gun. To be honest, I thought it was going to have more singing in it, but I was not disappointed. His magnificent guitar playing had my jaw on the floor. People also talk about his famous rendition of America’s National Anthem. To get to know Hendrix’s music a little more I decided to listen to that as well. He used his guitar to make the sound of bombs dropping and machine guns going off. Once again I was very impressed. After listening to the songs, I pulled up google and began researching about his life.
Jimi Hendrix was born on November 27, 1942 in Seattle, Washington. This is where he began to teach himself how to play the guitar as an adolescent. Before Hendrix’s career could really take off he enlisted into the army after high school in 1961. However, he didn’t join the military by choice. He was given the decision, to either join the military or go to prison for a few years. Hendrix chose to go into the army where he was a paratrooper in the 101st Airborne before he received an honorable discharge. He received the discharge due to an ankle injury during a parachute jump. Due to his attitude, Hendrix’s commanders didn’t care for him. One of his officers is to have said, “This is one of his faults, because his mind apparently cannot function while performing duties and thinking about his guitar.” After a few years being out of the military he headed to London with his band titled, “Jimi Hendrix Experience,” where his career took off.
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